- I'm afraid. But that doesn't mean I can't fight back!
- — Raven[src]
"Fear Itself" is the eighteenth episode of the Teen Titans series and the fifth episode of Season 2.
When Beast Boy rents a scary film for the Titans to watch at Movie Night, strange things start to happen and one by one each of the Titans start to disappear, but the question the remaining Titans are wondering is; Who is behind all of this?
The episode begins with the introduction of Control Freak, who is terrorizing the video store. The Teen Titans arrive and, after a lengthy battle, stop him by activating the fire sprinklers, thus short-circuiting his remote. After the fight, Beast Boy digs out of the mess a famous, and by reputation very frightening, horror movie, Wicked Scary, and presents it to the team back at the tower. The movie turns out to be extremely frightening, so much in fact that even a hard-boiled mind such as Raven finds herself unnerved. But she refuses to admit it to the others.Later in the night, the Titans hear a scream in the Ops. The lights go out, and out of nowhere appears the monster from Wicked Scary, ready to devour them all.
Beast Boy keeps jibbing Raven that she is afraid, which Raven hotly denies. But each time she says so, one of her teammates is snatched and vanishes: first Beast Boy, then Robin is pulled away by shadowy tentacles; Starfire is buried under a horde of demonic rats in the basement, and finally Cyborg disappears without a trace.
Now totally alone, Raven is beset by horrifying monsters made out of pure darkness. Cornered, she admits that she truly is afraid. She's able to regain control over herself and the monsters disappear. She wakes up and the Titans deduce that Raven had accidentally created the monsters out of her denying her fear and Raven sheepishly apologizes.
Now, as the sun rises, the Titans decide to catch some sleep over the night's events. Beast Boy then asks if Raven would want to do this again for Halloween, and Raven clearly says "I'm afraid not."
- Control Freak (First appearance)
- Raven's Fear Monsters (First appearance: death)
- Wicked Scary Monster (First appearance: death)
- Puppet King (Cameo; body and remote)
- Mad Mod (Cameo: statue)
- Slade (Cameo; mask)
- Overload (Cameo: chip)
- Horror Movie Actress (Only appearance)
- Store Clerk (Only appearance)
- Written by:
- Dwayne McDuffie
- Directed by:
- Michael Chang
- Also featuring:
- Many of the other monsters share a striking resemblance to the monsters in "Nevermore", which is almost a dead giveaway that Raven is somehow responsible for them (if you noticed the creatures' eyes)
- The counter girl working at the video store resembles Sarah Simms, Cyborg's love interest from the Teen Titans Go! comics.
- When Raven banishes the monsters from her mind, a gigantic black pterodactyl manifests instead of a giant raven.
- After Cyborg blasts Control Freak's evil TV, Robin's hair isn't spiky like usual.
- In the evidence room, there is the Puppet King, one of Mad Mod's statues, Slade's mask, a chip that looks like Overload, the Puppet King's remote, and the Clock of Eternity from "How Long is Forever?".
- It's a little impressive how Robin figured out the full extent of Raven's powers even though Raven rarely talks about the true nature of her powers and how they work.
- The episode title is derived from the words in President Franklin Roosevelt's famous speech, "There is nothing to fear but... fear itself." This quote and the title is also a possible reference to a line spoken by Scarecrow from the 2005 film Batman Begins, though this episode was released in 2004.
- This is Control Freak's first appearance.
As the "evil fanboy" he is, Control Freak makes several obvious references to well-known movie franchises, including:
- Star Trek, particularly Star Trek V and the TV episode "Trouble with Tribbles"
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, when Control Freak quotes a line spoken by Yoda: "You will be... you will be."
- His personal introduction is reminiscent of the way Darkwing Duck introduces himself.
The scenes of the wicked scary monster attacks are reminiscent of classic horror movies. The Titans themselves play archetypes of horror characters:
- Beast Boy is the funny knowledgeable movie geek similar to Randy Meeks in the Scream series. He is the first to get taken by the monster.
- Robin is the Detective similar to Arbogast in the movie Psycho. Like Arbogast, he is the second victim, who is taken when he was about to disclose important information.
- Starfire is the Cheerleader archetype similar to many minor female characters whom get scared easily. She is the third to be taken.
- Cyborg is the Jock archetype, a tough person in his field, but on the same level as the cheerleader in terms of bodycount. He is the last one to get taken by the monster.
- Raven is the Final Girl, the sole remaining female survivor left to figure out how to defeat the monster. In a surprising twist, she is also the Antagonist, since the monsters were her powers expressing her bottled fear.
- When Raven gets out of the elevator, the dark liquid that flows out of it as the doors open is a reference to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film The Shining.
- The monsters revealed to be part of Raven's mind is reminiscent of the following horror flicks, The Fiend Without a Face, and The Forbidden Planet. Both monsters were created by a person's mind. This is also a reference to a monster called Hastur, who is actually Cthulhu's half brother, both Cthulhu and Hastur were used by the famous American Horror story author: H.P. Lovecraft; however, Hastur was originally created by another, American Horror story author known as: Ambrose Bierce.
- The movie that Control Freak rages about not being in stock has a picture that resembles Beast Boy's early portrayal as an alien in a Star Trek knock off film "Space Trek 2020" back in the comics
- The samurai cardboard figure appears to hold its weapon only on its left hand. However as it gets sliced in half, the weapon switches to its right hand.
- After Robin threw and sliced his birdarangs at all the fire sprinkler heads as they sprayed water around the video rental store, Raven was quickly not wearing her hood.
- When Beast Boy is getting all scared about splitting up and is telling the other Titans what the monster does, he pulls Raven's hood off, but she never put it on.
- The Puppet King's controller is seen in the evidence locker, but it was previously destroyed in "Switched."
- In the scene where Cyborg and Raven are the last two remaining, both of his eyes are human eyes. Although this may be an animation error, it is possibly intentional, as his usually robotic eye's pupil is colored red, so this may be for comedic effect.
- When Raven was washed out of the elevator by the black liquid, she was covered with it. But at the next scene, she was clean again.
- When Raven regains control over her powers, her eyes turn black instead of white.
In popular culture
- In the Justice League Unlimited Season One episode: Wake the Dead, a DVD cover for the movie, Wicked Scary, can be seen in the college kid's room.
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